Subcommittee Committee Examined U.S. Preparedness for Biological Attacks and Infectious Disease Pandemics
Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2019)—This week, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, held a hearing to examine “U.S. Biodefense, Preparedness, and Implications of Antimicrobial Resistance for National Security.”
Chairman Stephen F. Lynch emphasized the importance of supporting doctors, hospitals, and emergency responders, who will ultimately be our nation’s first line of defense in any future biological attack or pandemic. Chairman Lynch and Ranking Member Hice also highlighted the need for better preparedness at the local level, and increased coordination and lines of communication between federal, state, and local officials.
Dr. Helen Boucher, Mr. Chris Currie, Dr. Asha George, and Dr. Cham Dallas all agreed that the United States faces significant biological threats, ranging from the deliberate release of biological agents, to the natural outbreak of infectious diseases. All four witnesses also agreed that antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to U.S. national security.
Mr. Currie testified to the need for consistent Congressional oversight of the National Biodefense Strategy, which the Trump Administration released in September 2018.
Dr. Boucher testified about the need to improve the development pipeline for new antibiotics that can be used to treat resistant bacteria. She stressed that incentives to facilitate the research and development of new antibiotics should also include stewardship programs and reporting requirements to ensure they are used and prescribed appropriately.
Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance
Tufts Medical Center
Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense
Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery, and DHS Management Issues
Homeland Security and Justice Team
U.S. Government Accountability Office
University Professor and Director
Institute for Disaster Management, on behalf of University of Michigan
Watch Chairman Lynch’s opening statement.
Watch Chairman Lynch’s question line.
Watch Director Chris Currie’s testimony.
Watch Dr. Asha George’s testimony.